Groves, Leslie Richard

▪ United States general
born Aug. 17, 1896, Albany, N.Y., U.S.
died July 13, 1970, Washington, D.C.
 American army officer in charge of the Manhattan Engineer District (MED)—or, as it is commonly known, the Manhattan Project—which oversaw all aspects of scientific research, production, and security for the invention of the atomic bomb.

      Groves was the son of an army chaplain and grew up on military posts throughout the United States. He attended the University of Washington at Seattle for one year and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge, Mass., for two years before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in June 1916. In an effort to supply more officers to American forces in Europe, several West Point classes were accelerated. Groves graduated on Nov. 1, 1918, 10 days prior to the armistice ending World War I. He ranked fourth in his class and chose the Corps of Engineers as his branch. For the next 20 years, he was assigned various engineering duties throughout the United States and Hawaii. He also attended Engineer School, the Command and General Staff School, and the Army War College, completing the schooling of those expected to hold high command and staff positions. During the mobilization period for World War II, from 1940 to 1942, Groves eventually oversaw all army construction in the United States, a mammoth task involving building camps, munitions plants, airfields, depots, and the Pentagon to support an army that grew from 135,000 during the interwar period to an eventual 8,000,000 during World War II.

      In mid-1942, the Army Corps of Engineers was put in charge of the U.S. atomic bomb project—known as the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) or Manhattan Project—and Groves was selected as its head on Sept. 17, 1942. Over the next three years, his responsibilities grew considerably. First, he oversaw the construction of plants and factories to make the key atomic bomb materials—highly enriched uranium and plutonium. He also chose the site and the key personnel for an isolated laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., to research, develop, and fabricate the bomb. To ensure secrecy, he oversaw a vast security, intelligence, and counterintelligence operation with domestic and foreign branches. He became involved in many key high-level domestic policy issues and in several international ones as well. To prepare for the combat missions, he had several dozen B-29 aircraft specially modified to carry the five-ton atomic bombs, initiated the creation of a special air force unit (known as the 509th Composite Group) to deliver them, and saw to establishing a domestic training base at Wendover, Utah, and an overseas staging base at Tinian, an island north of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. These actions put Groves at the centre of the planning, targeting, and timing of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

      On Dec. 31, 1946, Groves turned over the MED to the civilian Atomic Energy Commission, created by the Atomic Energy Act of 1946. After a final assignment as chief of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, he retired from the army in February 1948 and took a position with Remington Rand. He wrote Now It Can Be Told (1962), describing his experience of running the Manhattan Project.

Robert S. Norris
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Groves, Leslie Richard — (1896 1970)    Born in Albany, New York, to a military family, Leslie Groves went to the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and finally West Point, where he graduated in 1918. He was commissioned into the Army Corps… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Leslie Richard Groves — Leslie R. Groves Leslie Richard Groves (* 17. August 1896 in Albany, New York; † 13. Juli 1970) war ein Lieutenant General der US Army und militärischer Leiter für die Entwicklung der ersten Atombombe im sogenannten Manhattan Projekt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leslie Richard Groves — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Groves. Leslie Groves Leslie Richard Groves (17 août 1896 à Albany 13 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leslie Richard Groves — noun United States general who served as military director of the atomic bomb project (1896 1970) • Syn: ↑Groves • Instance Hypernyms: ↑general, ↑full general …   Useful english dictionary

  • Leslie Groves — Leslie R. Groves Leslie Richard Groves (* 17. August 1896 in Albany, New York; † 13. Juli 1970) war ein Lieutenant General der US Army und militärischer Leiter für die Entwicklung der ersten Atombombe im sogenannten Manhattan Projekt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leslie R.Groves — Leslie R. Groves Leslie Richard Groves (* 17. August 1896 in Albany, New York; † 13. Juli 1970) war ein Lieutenant General der US Army und militärischer Leiter für die Entwicklung der ersten Atombombe im sogenannten Manhattan Projekt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Leslie R. Groves — Leslie Richard Groves (* 17. August 1896 in Albany, New York; † 13. Juli 1970) war ein Lieutenant General der US Army und militärischer Leiter für die Entwicklung der ersten Atombombe im sogenannten Manhattan Projekt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Leslie Groves — Infobox Military Person name=Leslie Richard Groves born= birth date|1896|08|17 died= death date and age|1970|06|13|1896|08|17 placeofbirth=Albany, New York placeofdeath=Washington D.C caption= MGEN Groves nickname= allegiance=flagicon|United… …   Wikipedia

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